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Rev. Sally Bingham Education. (2009) Rev. Sally Bingham ('Love God, Heal Earth').

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  CSPAN    Book TV    Rev. Sally Bingham  Education.  (2009)  
   Rev. Sally Bingham ('Love God, Heal Earth').  

    January 3, 2010
    8:00 - 9:00am EST  

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and the church should decide what the significant civil unions with whatever they want. so that's -- that's my position. i think people shouldn't fight for recognizing marriage. they should fight for universal civil union rather than universal recognition of marriage, which has, i think, is a mixture of categories which the state has nothing to do with it. that's my position. and another issue -- people who care greatly about family values should have adopted the gay marriage more than anyone else because this is the ultimate affirmation of the institution of marriage, of family. it's actually surprising -- that i always found it always
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surprising that the rate of people who get remarried, namely are those -- who were divorced once and remarried is the same percent are the people who get married in the first place. how come the people don't blame the institution of marriage and blame themselves in the failure and try it again? why don't people -- in most cases when you're failing something, you said the institution failed me. i won't do it again? [laughter] >> why in the case of marriage it's not -- it's not -- it's not like that. that's a real puzzle for me he. [laughter] >> but then i said i don't have a theory of anything. >> well, i thank you very much, professor avishai margalit for not compromising and sharing with us all your ideas. his book is for sale and thank you all for coming. >> for more information, visit ias.edu. .
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.. >> ten years ago, and there'd be three or four people there, and this is the hugely exciting to have so many people be interested in the subject and looking for things that we can all do as a community to respond to climate change. i bring you greetings from my bishop, mark and rurks s, from the die access of california,
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who is the person who installed me recently as a can month to the environment, and i believe he did that because he really couldn't shut me up. [laughter] and what he has dope by in-- done by installing me as a khan non, and i'm often refer today in the die o access as a loose cannon -- [laughter] he has given me a green light to blast off about the subject i care most about, and that is the responsibility that people of faith have for protecting god's creation. for the future, for ourselves, for our children and our grandchildren. and a loose cannon, i am. i believe that science is is more than a theory and that most often science will prove fact over fiction. i am a seeker of the truth, and i intend to speak the truth.
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i work almost entirely on a religious response to global warming, so lately there has been both good and bad news. you've heard some of both in the last day and a half. the bad news is that the global temperature of the planet is rising faster than the scientists predicted just a few years ago, and there are some who think that it is already too late to avoid catastrophic climate disruption. and the good news is that the religious community is getting involved and pushing society towards finding solutions. hearing people of faith speaking about the seriousness of global warming is going to be the factor that tips us over the edge and leads us into finding the solutions. and i believe that we will solve this potentially catastrophic problem and that every one of
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you in this room will help solve this problem. you will all be playing a role. global warming is the most challenging condition of our time. and it's a moral issue that needs religious leaders speaking out on the subject. and it needs all people of faith recognizing that the climate issue is far more than an environmental one. we are facing a life and death situation, and it's summed up quite beautifully or quite articulately by the dean of the school of forestry at yale, and here's what he says in one paragraph: half the world's tropical temp rate forests are now gone. the rate continues at about an acre a second. about half the wetlands and a third of our mangroves are gone. an estimated 90% of the large
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predator fish are gone and 75% of the marine fisheries are now overfish thed or -- overfished or fished to capacity. 20% of our corals are gone and another 20% severely threatened. species are disappearing at rates about a thousand times faster than normal. the planet has not seen such a spasm of extinction in the 65 million years since the dinosaurs were here. persistent toxic chemicals -- and this is very important for each and every one of us to know -- persistent toxic chemicals are found by the dozens in each and every one of us. now, these are facts that have been reviewed by scientists. this isn't something that gus made up to get our attention or to make a name for himself. the planet is in peril, and we -- we, people of faith -- are the ones who must work as hard
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as we can to save this planet. and, unfortunately, which you heard a little bit about last night some of our greatest world thinkers suspect that we have so poisoned the earth it may soon not be fit for humans to exist. so where is the good news and where do we find hope? and how do we keep from falling into despair or getting depressed by the bad news? well, my hope comes from bits and pieces of inspiring changes that are going on all around this country and around the world. in china and germany, you got really good news last night from hunter levins, but i admit in the midst of this tragic news i do have hope, and it is other people who are giving me hope. and it may be because deep inside people know that crisis brings an opportunity. and this isn't necessarily
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optimism because there is a difference between hope and optimism. optimism is thinking that everything will turn out all right in the end, but hope is a verb with your sleeves rolled up as david orr says who's from overland college. you have something invested in the outcome, and this is exciting, but it does mean we have to work. we can't sit back and expect everything to get better unless we're willing to work towards that end. and there are hundreds and thousands of people all over the world who are working nonstop to save us from ourselves. nonprofits of every size, organizations that are working on the most challenging issues of our day, people that are working on climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace,
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world hunger and human rights. now, just knowing that is inspiring. and there was another time in history that should be hugely inspiring to us, and that's when it was thought of as a ridiculous goal when ten men went into a print shop in london in 1787, and they had decided that the slave trade was immoral. and in one man's lifetime those ten men changed the whole culture of slave trade. they wanted to end the slave trade in england, and you can read this story if you were to read bury the chains. it's a book by adam hockchild, and he tells the story of how a small group of men can change an entire culture and a society's way of thinking about things. and that's what we have in our lap now, and they didn't have the internet, they didn't have
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telephones and television. we have the ability, now, to make the change if we really want to do it. and i know that all of you here know that we have a problem with climate. you can't have been sitting here for the last day and a half and not know that the climate is a problem and that we are engaged in the solutions. the most recent studies from the 1500 scientists with the ippc -- said that global co2 emissions are increasing faster than previously anticipate thed. summertime arctic ice is disappearing more quickly than projected, and the arctic will be ice-free in the summer much earlier than was believed. sea rise has increased dramatically, and the evidence that is linking climate change and tropical storm intensity continues to accumlate. in our organization we think that climate change is the most
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challenging moral issue of our time because how we respond today will define the future for generations to come. before i say more about that, let me give you some history. for the last ten years, i have worked almost exclusively on climate change. the regeneration project launched this program called interfaith power and light which is a religious response to global warming. we have 29 state programs and one in washington d.c. you heard and you know that there is one here in colorado with with a very active and capable group of people, and i hope that all of you who are connected to congregations will talk to your religious leaders, or if you're in the position to sign up and become a member of colorado interfaith power and light, i think that you will find it very beneficial, very informative with resources for
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how you can green your congregations. and those of us working on this campaign realize that religion has an important role to play in finding solutions to this life-threatening problem. and additionally, the religious voice often brings moral authority. and it leads the way on social changes. and we have to lead now. our faith communities must lead now. when i started this ministry in 1997, there were only a few people who had made the connection between our faith in god and how we treat creation can. addressing global warming was received unenthusiastically at best. i was called a communist, i buzz in favor of -- was in favor of world government, and what did i know about climate anyway? i wasn't a scientist. furthermore, i was bringing a political issue into the church, and i was bridging or abusing
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the separation of church and state. and then when they asked me what did i know about science, i have to admit i am not a scientist. but i have seen and i have heard, just as you have, what the scientists are saying, and i believe that the scientists are today's prof prophets, and i think we need to listen to them, and we need to pay attention to what they've saying. -- they're saying. also important to note is that scientists have asked for the help of the religious community. they, the scientists tell us that we have but a few scant years to turn this trend around in order to avoid catastrophic weather conditions and unprecedented sea rise. and they want our help. the scientists can create, discover and give us the science, but we have to be the messengers. now, juxtaposed with that news
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we have two to three years to start making the necessary changes to reverse this trend. we all have to work together to curb our use of greenhouse gases. to limit carbon dioxide, which is the most serious greenhouse gas, we need everybody working together. no one segment of society can do this alone. so the integration of environment, religion, business and science is the way that we will make change happen. but religion is paramount in this discussion. i think how one responds to climate change and the climate crisis is a moral issue because it's insulting to god to continue to destroy creation. it's an indication of how we feel about our fellow humans and what kind of a world we're leaving for our children. the changing climate is affecting every aspect of life;
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water, crops, disease, human health, species extinction, floods and droughts. and these are things that people of faith are called to be the stewards of. and it is immoral to destroy the life-sustaining systems on which the future depends. now, in the early days i talked my head off to anybody who would listen and even to those who didn't listen. today it's a different audience. people have begun to see that it's insulting to god to blow the tops off of mountains for the explicit reason of getting cheap energy or cheap fuel. there are other ways that you can get coal without destroying forever the valleys and the streams that border on those mountains and shouldn't we take the road of least harm to god's creation when we're looking to
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cruise the valuable resources that were provided for our use? not our abuse. as more and more clergy talk about these issues mr. the pulpit -- from the pulpit and specifically in the last ten years, people of faith have, are being and are transforming their basic attitude the toward nature and beginning to see the connection between our treatment of nature and our treatment of people. and how that behavior translates to our relationship with good. god. we have begun to look for solutions to save the entire community of life. it isn't just one species, one disease or one problem, it's about the well being of the entire communion, the entire communion of life. and this intersection between science, business and religion is crucial now.
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without science, religion would not have a prayer of moving people. religion plays an important role in any dialogue that involves a new way of being in the world. it's religious institutions and teachings throughout the world that frame our ethical values, and clergy preaching environmental stewardship from the 3u8 pit may have -- pulpit may have far more of an impact than that of a politician or a scientist alone. interesting, too, religious people are being invited to stand not just with scientists, but we're being invited to stand with politicians and to show solidarity on the climate issue. the faith community's role in getting this recent legislation on greenhouse gas reduction passed through the house which keith was just talking about is a case in point. i was invited into henry waxman's office with seven other
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religious leaders, and the climate policy person sat with us and said, you -- this is the climate policy person talking to us -- you can can have visits with conservative republicans because they, too, are people of faith. the environmentalist and the scientists have done all they can. you are not viewed as liberal democrats, but people of faith who believe that god calls us to be the stewards of creation. and climate protection is a moral issue. we need your help. so we too long a list -- took a list of the members of the house of representatives who they were particularly interested in us talking to, and we were invited into the offices, and we were listened to. religion is beginning to play a role, a major role, in the dialogue searching for solutions. but you do have to wonder, what took so long?
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we are people who pray forker reverence for for the earth, ane denounce in our baptismal vows we denounce any evil that destroys creation. we let words like dominion be translated into dominate instead of its true meaning which is compassion and care. now, you would expect that once we know about a problem we would look for ways to solve it, but climate has been a particularly hard issue to get folks to engage in. but most of us know that it's a problem, and you do have to wonder why. what kind of a society continues to do things that we know are destructive, and what does it say about us as humans? what does it mean to be human in light of the climate crisis? when we know about a problem and we know what the solutions are
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and we do nothing, we've got to question our ethical and moral values. so i've maintained for ten years that the issue of global warming is the most important moral challenge of our time. it's the slavery issue of the 19th century. @the civil rights -- it's the civil rights issue of the 1960s, and there are similar stories. the one of tobacco? remember when the tobacco industry told us that smoking was not harmful to our health? [laughter] remember when the auto industry said that seat belts wouldn't make any difference? and a hundred years ago we were told that slavery was good for the economy. now, these were moral issues that our country addressed and did something about. and today global warming is the equivalent issue. war, terrorism, poverty, all major moral issues too.
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but they pale in the light of what can potentially happen to this planet if we don't stand in solidarity, put aside our differences and address solutions. so let me ask you all a question. who among us doesn't love someone be it wife, husband, partner, parent, child, lover? maybe you just genuinely love people or the natural world. maybe it's a pet. but you all love something. and what if you find out that that something, that person is terminally ill? what if it's you? what if it's me? i was diagnosed with cancer ten years ago, and what if the doctor had said, well, sally, we know all about breast cancer. we have the solutions, we can cure you, but we're going to wait three years before we give
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you any treatment. i mean, that is what we even see in the legislation in these bills that are being passed in our, in our -- even the one in the house. they don't take effect until 2020, 2015, 2050. we need to do this now. so we all, we have the technology, we know how to solve this problem. it's the a problem we are acutely aware of, but we have not had the political will or the moral integrity to make the changes that we need to make. and the result is that species and people are dying. we fall into the do nothing category. and coincidentally, everything that we need to do the for climate protection will also boost the economy. if we initiated the changes as rapidly as we can, we would
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generate more jobs, we would bring manufacturing home, and we would unleash the greatest prosperity since world war ii and enhance our or security. reason to the first and great commandment from the judeo-christian religion. love god is first, love your neighbor as yourself is second. now, some religious traditions say this differently, but they all have more or less the same message or meaning. buddhists believe that everything is interdependent and interconnected. if you hurt one small part of the whole, it affects the whole. and muslims believe that god created the world in balance, and it's the human job to keep that balance. indigenous spirituality has a powerful land ethic right built into their tradition. this is a universal belief in
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religion. we are part of something greater than ourselves, we belong to it, and we have a responsibility to that greater cause. we have a responsibility to serve our neighbors with love. and in direct disobedience to the commandment to love one another, we are destroying the very basic physical stability on which poor nations and communities depend. it is the people who contribute the least to the problem who will suffer the most. this is a justice issue, and it's precisely why the religion community has such an important role to play. we must restore a shared sense of purpose, a sense of gratitude for our very existence. our choices matter, and the decisions that we make today will affect neighbors near and far. neighbors on the other side of
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the world and, most importantly, the neighbors who come after us, our children and our grandchildren. we have a responsibility to the next generation. there's another commandment in the judeo-christian religion, thou shalt not steal. and if you think about the future, are we stealing the future from the next generation? isn't it strange that we spend a lifetime trying to build up wealth to leave to our children, and yet we don't focus on leaving them clean air or clean water or any oil? how are our children going to survive? well, some people think that they will figure it out. and many of us maintain the, however, that we have a responsibility to future generations. and science says that unless we rapidly move to reduce emissions, we will pass the
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tipping point after which can human action can no longer control climate change. it is really just that serious. so i refuse to believe that we are so lacking in moral integrity that we don't care. if i thought that we couldn't do something or that we didn't care about climate protection, i wouldn't have dedicated my life and my ministry to this effort. and i wouldn't have any hope. i work almost entirely on a religious response to the global warming. it's what i do the, it's who i am. and without hope i would not be here. so here are my reasons for hope and why i do what i do. i think that we have reached a point where enough people are aware of the issues that we face. i think we're becoming conscious in a new way. i think we're evolving, if you will, we are evolving as a
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species. i think we're maturing as a society. and we're beginning to open ourselves up to the world outside. now, this growth it may be due to the internet, to intellectual exposure beyond our wildest dreams. it's bringing us to new levels of consciousness. but i think that the human race and our collect cannive conscious -- collective consciousness is evolving, that we are maturing as a species. we're developing that shared purpose and a common goal with people all over the world. it's an awakening of sorts. the realization about environmental values is becoming an ethics of sorts. the realization that we are one and we have to work together toward that truth, the truth that we are one.
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one earth, one atmosphere, one global climate. recently, there is a come can canning together of world leaders that share these concerns and dedication to protecting these common interests. it's a profound reason for hope. and another reason for hope, president obama has made strong statements about climate, green jobs, and the fact that a new industrial revolution -- a clean one -- will boost the economy. he's talking about capping greenhouse gases, passing strong climate legislation, and here is what he said. and i'm quoting obama now. in terms of climate change, ultimately the world is going to need targets that the it can meet. it can't be general, vague approaches. we're going to have to make some tough decisions that take concrete actions if we're going to deal with the potentially cat
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kiss mix disaster. and we are seeing progress in congress around energy legislation that would set up for the first time in the united states a cap and trade system. that process is moving forward in ways that if you had talked about it just two to three months ago, would have seemed impossible. so i'm actually -- this is obama -- so i'm actually more optimistic than i was about america being able to take leadership on the issue, joining europe which over the last several years has been ahead of us on this issue. and he was awarded a nobel peace prize. after years of politicians refusing to take action on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, there is a positive shift in washington. there is legislation moving through the senate now that you just heard about and that we hope will get passed in time for the big be international meeting in copenhagen in december.
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in hopenhagen. [laughter] i love that. i am optimistic and more so now than ever before. this is the most important moral problem of our time, and i believe that with with your help and all of us working together that we are on our way to solving it. the political will is developing, and state by state the across the united states laws are being made to restrict carbon dioxide. there are 900 mayors who have formed a coalition, and many governor thes have come together -- governors have come together with commitments to curb carbon emissions. renales like the northeast and in the northwest. they have set their own standards. they're not waiting for the federal government. individual cities are committing to drastic cuts in electricity through energy efficiency and creating ways to invest in renewable energy. the youth are mobilizing, and
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large corporations are calling on the government to regulate greenhouse gases. many of them, many of these large businesses are leaving the u.s. chamber of commerce. now, you may have seen recently in the news that one -- there were two, actually, one was pacific gas and electric. major utility who stated that they are dropping their membership due to the chamber's not standing behind strong climate legislation. apple just did the same thing. and here's what they said, apple said: we would prefer the chamber take a more progressive stance on this critical issue and play a constructive role in address canning the climate crisis. however, because the chamber's position differs so sharply with apple's, we have decided to resign our membership immediately. this is good news.
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and this is stewardship, not sacrifice. when the nobel peace prize committee awarded the ipcc it nobel peace prize last year, it made it clear that combating climate change will be central to peace and security in the 21st century. so with all that good news the most exciting news is that the faith community is now a voice in the dialogue. and we're putting solar on our roofs, energy-efficient appliances, creative liturgy that changes hearts and minds, churches, synagogues and mosques are serving as examples to the community. and clergy are walking the halls of legislative buildings talking to lawmakers. and this is what they did in the civil rights movement. and note, too, which i think is
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hugely important, moral choices and values other the problem of -- over the problem of climate change are beginning to replace discussions around abortion and same-sex relations. they are not, now, the major top thetics of discussion. -- topics of discussion in our communities of faith. this is not about sacrifice. this is about stewardship, and it's about joy. when i go into my garden and i dump food scraps from the table into my compost be bin which i do periodically and i go back a few months later and i pull the dirt out and grow veggies in it or when i walk two miles to the cathedral on sunday, i feel that i am giving back in exchange for the amazing, fruitful abundance that i have had access to. i don't feel deprived or like i'm a martyr. but quite the contrary, i feel
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really good about not making waste, about being able to use that soil from the compost bin. i feel good that there's gas can in the tank in my car when i really need it. this is a spiritual experience that goes beyond words. now, we can't all grow venn tables in our gardens. many of us don't have gardens. but i'll tell you a little story about being in brazil in the early 1990s. i went up into one of the poorest places in the world, and on almost every single window do sill was a little can with something growing in it. i mean, we can do this. doing the right thing is not always the easiest, but for people of conscious it is the only thing to do. and you can put in compact fluorescent lightbulbs, energy-efficient appliances, drive a fuel-efficient car, ride
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a bike, walk, and wherever possible purchase grebe renewable energy -- green renewable energy. energy efficiency is very important. retrofitting congregations and homes, it will create jobs, and it will save money too. copse can vegas is crucial -- conservation is crucial, and every one of us can turn off what we're not using. and importantly, vote for leaders. vote for leaders who will implement policies that will provide us with a sustainable future. policies that will reverse rising pollution, invest in green energy, clean energy and help the u.s. be a leader in a global response to climate change. we have a great opportunity now. now, while the climate situation is one of crisis and crisis can often mean danger, we have an opportunity, and we cannot waste this opportunity the.
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crisis gives us an opportunity. we can run from the danger, or we can face it, and we can move forward with a shared purpose. there is unlimited economic growth on the horizon. new technologies to be researched and developed and the creation of millions of jobs, lot of reasons to be hopeful. we have the tools, and i pray the will to make things right. it's time to put our faith into action. and the interfaith power and light campaign is doing just that. here in colorado, which is part of this growing national movement, we are bringing religious leaders together. leaders from different religioustraditions who all agree on one thing -- we are the stewards of creation. we're sending petitions to legislators, we're lobbying legislators, we're calling on the proper moral response. this is far beyond a political
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issue or an environmental one, it's one about moral choices and doing the right thing. i was in london just recently, and i met with ban ki-moon, the general secretary of the united nations. and we presented him with our plan, our three to five year plan at the interfaith power and light campaign, and what he was collecting were statements from religious communities from all over the world and taking those statements to copenhagen. and here is what he said. without full support and cooperation of religious leaders, it will be very difficult to obtain a binding agreement in copenhagen. so what he took with him were statements from 31 different major religious traditions from all over the world saying we want you to come up with a very
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strong greenhouse gas reduction climate treaty in copenhagen. but if you don't, we will, and this is our commitment. and 31 statements from catholics, from jews, from our interfaith organization, from the dow in china who have committed to putting solar panels on every single temple in china, the sheikhs were there, the hindus were there all with statements that he will take to copenhagen saying whether you do it or not, we're going to. religion is committed to doing this. and that was, and that is, i think, another wonderful reason for hope, you know? politicians come and go, religions have been here forever. and our religious leaders are, are ordained, and they stay in the pulpit for good long periods of time. they're not looking for reelection in two to three to four years. and if you get, if we have the
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religious community behind this, we will make the changes that need to be made. but there's something more precious to be gained if we do the right thing. the climate crisis offers us, this generation, the chance to experience what few generations in history have ever had the privilege of experiencing. it's a generational mission. it's a compelling moral purpose, a shared cause. and the thrill of being forced by circumstances to put aside the pettiness and the conflict of politics and to embrace a genuine moral and spiritual challenge. we are tapping into the immensely strong and unstoppable power of truth. and we are here, and the time is now. i thank you for your attention the. [applause]
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>> thank you so much. since you have the microphone, do you want to go ahead and field questions? [inaudible conversations] we have about 15 minutes for questions from sally, and i want to ask can -- ask you to the, please, resist the temptation to make a speech and as alex would say, put your response in the form of a question. >> remembering, too, that the microphone needs to be in front of you before you begin speaking. here's a question right here. >> would you say more about the commonality or differences about -- in this meeting in london that you have at the castle? between the different faith perspectives? >> it was hugely exciting to be with all these different religions from around the world,
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and when you have hindus, buddhists, catholics, jews, muslims all in the room saying we are the stewards of creation, it's very, very powerful. nobody talked about how did we get here or where we're going when we die or whatever the minor differences are in theology. we're not the -- that was not the discussion. the discussion was we are the stewards of this planet, god put us here to take care of the planet, and we're going to do that. so you had this the amazing coming together of diverse religions standing in solidarity saying we are the stewards, we will work together on this issue. it's hugely exciting. >> question over here. >> hi, thank you for coming. last night you suggested that i look at the ipcc report, which i
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did, and i also went to the center for science and public policy. have you seen that report? >> i haven't looked at that one, no. >> okay. well, it's an analysis and summary of the ipcc. they greatly disagree with your facts, your con can collusions -- conclusions. but my question to you is, and you said that this possible climate change is the greatest moral issue. i'd have to disagree with you. wouldn't you think that the unborn children, you know, abortion is a greater, is a greater moral challenge? that's the question. i'd like an answer. >> i'm sorry, the question is -- >> abortion. the killing of small children, isn't that a greater moral issue than disagreement -- >> we are here to be talking about climate change, and i think i'll keep the subject, i think i'll keep the subject -- >> thank you for ducking it.
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>> other questions. over here. back here. >> thank you for being here. you spoke very eloquently about the intersection of science and religion and the business community and how the synergy of that can lead us to messages that can move us forward. i was wondering if you have perspectives on how all that can also intersect with the educational community in transmitting these messages to our next generations and keeping the momentum going? >> well, i agree that education is hugely important and that teachers are teaching environmental science in school. we are implementing programs in sunday school where small children can begin to realize that creation, saving souls is hugely important, but if we don't save creation, we won't have any souls to save.
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and so i think that the implementation of education with young children is hugely important. >> over here. >> hello. i'd like to thank you for mentioning the idea of prophet involved with this because i think of a prophet as someone who after thought and meditation and feelings on the subject brings not only a problem, but a solution to light, and he says if you don't change your ways, bad things are going to happen. and i feel that our scientist thes have helped us in that, and i wanted to thank you for that. >> oh, thank you. thank you. >> any more back there? >> thank you. mine is a question or a comment. the other problem which has been
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around with this magnitude of climate change is the hiv/aids. and until we slow the -- [inaudible] the problem of hiv/aids, we do not see it having any effect. so what i would say is what you are doing is really well involving religious leaders of all congregations to address this climate change problem, global warming with the religious aspect of it. the other thing i wanted to comment on is about peace and security. >> i'm sorry, about what? >> peace and security. i see the al-qaeda or any other groups who are fighting
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peace and especially here in the united states are mainly the people who are disenfranchised because of the climate changes where they live. i'm thinking the example somalia. the resistance and the civil fighting in somalia is because of the environment in the country. there is so much civil war because the opportunities are so limited. so if we don't address the climate change, the problems won't be only for united states, they'll be for other foreign the countries that we can see how they come -- >> thank you. >> well, you're absolutely right, and just to add to that, when the nobel peace prize was given three years ago, it was
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for that reason. she was given a nobel peace prize for her tree-planting projects that were happening in kenya, and what the peace prize committee was saying is that planting trees and restoring our natural resources is central to peace and security because if somebody's natural resources have been destroyed, those people move to find the resources that they need. and when they move, they put more pressure on the, on the few resources that are left, and people end up fighting over them. so i believe you're absolutely right. >> time for one more question over here. where is it? oh, here? okay. >> i was just curious and maybe i missed this because i wasn't here this morning, but what would need to happen in copenhagen from your perspective to call it a success? >> that's a great question.
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because we have sort of danced around it in the last day or so, but there was great hope that the united states would go to this copenhagen treaty with a bill in hand where the united states had made a commitment to cut it greenhouse gas emissions by a huge amount. and all of the eyes of the world are on the united states to see will we do this or won't we, and are we serious about cutting our greenhouse gas cans? finish gases? so the idea that india and china are going to be great big polluters which, in fact, china has already surpassed the united states in its emissions of greenhouse gases not per capita, but per country can, and folks have said that unless the united states passes a strong greenhouse gas reduction bill, the rest of the world will not do it. and that's -- so a successful
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meeting in copenhagen would be obama goes and says the united states congress and the senate have passed a bill, we're committed to cutting our greenhouse gases 70% below a certain date to show support for the rest of the world doing it. if we don't do that, the worry is that the whole treaty will be a failure. and i think you -- earlier today we heard that probably obama will go to copenhagen with a statement that comes from individual states that have made commitments. >> [inaudible] >> well, 350 parts per million is what the scientists have said is a sustainable amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, parts per million. we are already at 387. so it's a, it's a big reduction that we have to get to. >> i guess we do have one more over here. >> thank you again for being here. i know that time is short, but
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can you give us a few other specific examples of what interfaith power and light and the web site have as resources for faith communities to help us discern and share information and then act? >> thank you for that. yes. on www.the regeneration project.org is a map of the united states, and you click on your state, and you can go to the different state programs. and the resources on all the state programs are available to anyone that goes to the web site. if your congregation joins interfaith power and light here in colorado, you will have says to something -- access to something called shop ipl where you can buy energy-efficient, energy star appliances at a discount. we have numerous resources in terms of films that you can show in congregations and they are films that are 20 minutes with discussion that goes with them. we also have five different
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denominations in what i will term sermonettes. we have an imam, a rabbi, a catholic priest and a buddhist giving small sermonettes on the web site so that if you have a clergy person who's skeptical about how to talk about climate change, those resources are excellent as well as the book, "love god, heal earth," has voices from those different, diverse traditions who can help clergy if they want to give sermons about climate or environmental stewardship. we have a program called cool congregations, and i suggest you look at that. that's where the congregation has in-house competition among the members, the congress regants' homes with where children can come in and report that they have taken a cold shower and, therefore, they didn't use energy that morning, or a little boy was seen riding
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his bicycle down the road in cedar falls, iowa, never mind that the parents were behind in the suv making sure he got there safely. he rode his bicycle into church and then recorded on the wall that he had done that and saved so much carbon. we have numerous resources, and thank you for asking that question because i suggest you do go and look. i mean, 10,000 congregations around this country are already participating in interfaith power and light in some way, shape, or form. and the commitment that we gave to the ban ki-moon to take to copenhagen is that we would have an interfaith power and light program in every state in the united states and that we would triple our numbers in the next three to five years. >> thank you. >> okay. thank you very much. [applause] >> reverend sally bingham is founder and president of the interfaith power and light campaign. the ipl involves more than 4,000
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congregations, mosques and temples. for more information visit the regeneration project.org. >> fox news contributor michelle malkin is our guest today on booktv's "in depth. "the blogger, columnist and author of four books takes your calls, e-mails and tweets. three hours with michelle malkin today live at noon eastern on booktv. >> we're at the national press club's author night, and we're here with jason killian meeks, author of the new book, "hollywood on the potomac." you talk about los angeles and the beltway and the connection between presidents and closing celebrities. do you want to tell us a little background about your book? >> sure. washington and hollywood have a love affair going. it's been a long-time love affair between the two cities. one has fame, one has power, and one wants what the other one has.
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and, you know, when i went into this book, there's a lot of talk about president obama coming to washington and really attracting lots of celebrity attention and having all sorts of people from everyone from jlo to george clooney to the white house. and i found out through this book that, really, this has been going on for a very long time. i have the first, the first photo in the book, actually, is of charlie chaplain from 1918 standing on pennsylvania avenue stumping for world war i bonds. so if you start with charlie chaplain, our first film star, and go all the way up to oprah winfrey and obama, you'll find that hollywood and washington have always been involved with one another in some way, shape, or form. >> we're lucky enough to have a couple photos from the book right here, and it looks like this crosses party lines. this goes republican and democrat, and we'll start with richard nixon here and sammy davis jr. >> well, absolutely. this is a, you know, any photo with richard nixon is comical.
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when you have a hollywood star the standing next to richard nixon, he was never really comfortable in front of the camera, so he has this sort of fascination of being surrounded by celebrities. and this particular picture has got some historic significance because sammy davis jr., you know, was disinvited from kennedy's inauguration by frank sinatra who produced the show which was very surprising to me, but it was his interracial marriage that was at stake. politically, they decided that wasn't going to be the best thing for the country to see at inauguration. >> in your book you say sinatra declared jfk an honorary member of the rat pack, correct? >> yes, sinatra did do that. you know, jfk was one of our most charismatic presidents. i think you'd have to really sort of count him even more charismatic than, say, a ronald reagan who was an actor. and, you know, he was not only a member of the rat pack, but peter love ard, who's on the
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cover, was in the rat pack and married into the conditionty family -- kennedy family, and it was really considered the first marriage of politics and hollywood. >> i want to go back to sammy davis jr. very quickly because you said that sammy davis jr. was the first african-american to sleep in the white house, correct? >> well, that's correct. nixon rolled out the red carpet in sort of a way to have a little dig at kennedy because he wasn't at kennedy's inaugural. so he invited sammy davis jr. into the white house, set him up at the queen's bedroom and really kind of made it a night to remember. and that became as far as the research that i pulled up at the library in the national archive cans the first if african-american to be a guest at the white house. >> we've got three more here, let's go to the next one. and it's the pretty icon cantic, i think most folks have seen this one. this is richard nixon and elvis presley. >> sure. again, a great photo of elvis and nixon, the most requested
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photo from the national archives. when you think of everything that the national archives keeps in storage, this is the one that people want to see the most over the years. >> now, is it true that elvis had asked richard nixon to allow him to carry a badge of some sort? i've heard this story many times. >> he did. he rolled into town into washington, and he was very concerned of the hippie culture at the time and actually rolled his limousine right up to the west gate at the white house and asked the guard to see nixon and wanted to be made a federal martial at large to help with the drug problem of young people. the of course, he was turned away, but only for a few hours because when the word got to nixon that this the kind of incredible request can had taken place at the west gate, nixon reconsidered and said, hmm, i think, you know, bring him over. let's do this. he called up his directer of narcotics and had a badge sent over, and that day elvis presley became a federal agent at large. >> let's go to the next one
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here. and we have the late michael jackson with ronald reagan and nancy reagan. >> well, you know, this photo in some ways inspired this whole book because when i was 16, i wasn't very interested in watching the news every night like most 16-year-olds maybe. but i remember one night watching ronald reagan and michael jackson with his sequinned glove walking out of the white house on nbc news, and i was shocked. i thought it was the most bizarre thing i'd ever seen in my life. and i think from that that kind of put an idea in my mind, gee, what is this sort of taking place here when these stars are visiting our elected officials? what are they doing, you know, why are they there and what are they accomplishing, if anything? >> what are they accomplishing? >> well, i think it depends on why they're there, but i think certainly in the end you have celebrities and actors, entertainers who are americans, after all. and they really want to influence policy and decisions or in the case of michael
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jackson, it was a great pr publicity stunt. >> this last one i really like, and it's totally bizarre. it's andy warhol and president jimmy carter, and it looks like a warhol portrait of carter, correct? >> that's correct. you know, andy warhol painted these portraits of, limited-edition portraits of jimmy carter, and the carter presidential campaign basically traded them for political donations around the country. you know, it was a wise thing to do at the time politically speaking because the country had just gone through watergate, and really they were very distrustful of anyone from washington or anything that represented washington. and i don't think you can get any farther away from washington than andy warhol. so this actually was tremendously effective for carter in raising money. it actually was credited, he credited it himself as being one of the financial turn arounds of his entire presidential >>mpaign, selling these prints.